First-Year Seminar


Topics in classical literature and/or art and archaeology vary each semester.

FALL 2019: Imperial Women

This seminar explores the life and afterlife of Agrippina the Younger, Rome's most ambitious and powerful woman but who was resented, reviled, and in AD 59 finally killed by her son and emperor Nero. Besides reading the striking historical accounts of her later written by Tacitus, Suetonius and others, we will evaluate contemporary sources: coins on which she was depicted (the first living woman to be identified and portrayed on a coin!), inscriptions honoring her, and sculptures representing her. Attention will also be given to the laws and customs barring Roman women from holding political positions or serving in the military. We will end with knowing the possibilities, restraints, actions, and reputation of this impressive woman - who would have been perfect for "Game of Thrones" - and a deeper understanding of the history of women.

Curriculum Codes